How To Boost Your Collagen With Plants

Hydrolysed collagen peptides are taking the health and beauty world by storm! With the ability to improve the elasticity of the skin, and reduce wrinkles it has been hailed as a miracle supplement. But since it’s made from animals (most often cows, chickens, and some commercially farmed fish types) vegans and vegetarians have been left in the lurch. If you’re looking for a vegan collagen, or bone broth alternative, you’re in luck! We’ll uncover the fundamental nutrition of your natural collagen production for beautifully soft, supple, ageless skin; plus a delicious, collagen boosting smoothie recipe.

WHAT IS COLLAGEN?

Collagen is a protein found in your skin, joints, ligaments, and cartilage. There are 16 different types of collagen, but the one we’re most interested in is Type I. It’s the most common type of collagen in the body, and is super important for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Collagen is made up of 8 amino acids and getting all of these in your vegan diet is actually pretty easy. Pea protein isolate contains all of them and more.

WHERE CAN I GET PLANT-BASED COLLAGEN?

Collagen production isn’t just a simple matter of getting all aminos, and calling it a day. Your body still needs to absorb them. One of hydrolysed collagen’s biggest benefits is that it’s so highly bioavailable. The hydrolysation process breaks the raw collagen material down into much smaller peptides that rapidly pass through the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream. But wouldn’t you know it, Mother Nature has a plant-based solution to this one too. It’s the world’s sexiest fruit: pineapple!

Pineapple has an enzyme in it called bromelain which hydrolyses proteins. Research published in the International Journal of Food Properties has proven that bromelain improves the bioavailability of pea protein. Their findings were taken a step further by researchers publishing in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition who found that bromelain (and papain) were able to reduce the difference in bioavailability between plant-based proteins, and animal ones.

HOW TO BOOST COLLAGEN PRODUCTION

Healthy collagen production needs some other nutrients too, besides the raw amino acids. Vitamin C is the most important one. It’s the primary cofactor for the generation of collagen within the body. A deficiency of vitamin C, aka scurvy, leaves sufferers with sores on their gums because collagen production has begun to shut down. Thankfully, our delicious, prickly friend the pineapple has that in abundance!

The right protein source, made bioavailable with a digestive enzyme, together with vitamin C is the recipe for vegan collagen success! There’s much more to learn about the role of silica, magnesium and even cortisol, but that’s the foundation. Watch this space for our upcoming collagen support guide. In the meantime, try out this Vegan Collagen-Boosting Smoothie recipe.

VEGAN COLLAGEN BOOSTING SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Soak chia seeds in water for 20 minutes until they reach a gel-like consistency.
  2. Pop pineapple, papaya, and banana into your blender and add 2 cups of almond milk.
  3. Spoon in the 4 heaped tablespoons of pea protein, and the soaked Chia Seeds.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. Sip, and savour your way to softer, more supple skin.

 

 

References:

  1. Plant proteases improve the absorption and bioavailability of plant-based protein including pea protein, by hydrolysing it into its constituent peptides: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4595032/ ; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942912.2015.1123269 ;
  2. Silicon markedly increases the action of fibroblast cells: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6263024

Collagen 101: What Is The Hype All About?

Rooibos & Cinnamon Infused Collagen Jellies

 

Losing My Hair Was The Best Thing That Happened To Me

My name is Katrien and I am the new CEO of Faithful to Nature. My team have encouraged me to share my story with you, in the hope that its uplifts and inspires those that are feeling challenged in anyway.

Growing up in an Afrikaans, conservative society it was impressed upon me from a very early age that getting married and having children was of the utmost importance. It appeared this was only achievable as a girl if you were Barbie pretty and

very thin. Like many girls I grew up with body, food and self-esteem issues. I was always competitive, trying my whole life to be a better version of myself and to be the best. It’s exhausting. You never really reach a stage of contentment. Once you achieve one goal you just reach further.

After many years of working on this, at the age of 34 I reached I point where finally I felt pretty. I had Botox, fillers and hair extensions, and I was very hungry.

What I didn’t realise, even though I always tried to be a good person at heart and kind to those around me, is that I was testing myself badly.

I never measured myself by the standards I had for others. I measured myself against a different crazy set of standards whereby only my appearance, performance and my great career counted. My heart and my mind were left undervalued and uncared for – especially after years of working 12-14 hours days. It was hectic, working 14 hours a day and squeezing lash fills and gym in between.

When It All Fell Out

At the age of 38, I was working in London as head of brand for Vodafone UK. I was very proud of what I had achieved, but moving to a new country all alone and having to perform at your max and look your best was becoming incredibly stressful. At the end of my time at Vodafone I started getting very tired, I used to always wake up early, like 5am, pray, run and then work a 12-hour day. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was exhausted all the time.

My hair started thinning, I had lesions(sores) on my head and in my ears. But I could still hide it, so I carried on. In the space of 6 months, it all finally caught up with me – all my hair had fallen out and I was covered in sores from my scalp down to mid-waist. I looked sick, tired and disgusting.

Then I was made redundant at Vodafone. What followed was the most traumatic 2 years of my life. Stuck in the UK not being able to work, waiting 18 months for a VISA that didn’t come. I ran out of money, I lost everything, including my hair, any self-esteem I had left, and sadly many friends. When you struggle and suffer, sadly friends sometimes think this is contagious, so they step away. I also became super sensitive and was in complete victim mode, so I also made some mistakes. I was in a very (very) bad place. Everything I had built my life on was gone.

Growing From Strength To Strength

Fast forward to returning to South Africa, needing to look for a job. Most of the sores had cleared, so I was OK to do interviews with a wig and lots of makeup. I saw the opening at Faithful to Nature and applied. I remember looking at Robyn (founder of FTN) on social media and I made the gut choice to go wigless – completely bald by now – for the interview with her. I just knew she would appreciate the authenticity. I was extremely grateful that I got this position.

When you lose everything, you are forced into introspection. You are forced into humility, authenticity and appreciation. For much of my journey I looked at my past, fabulous (although at times very superficial) life, and longed for the days where I had beautiful long hair, was thin and had a great wardrobe all propped up with Botox, lashes and hair extensions. I started to realise how wrong my approach to self-worth was.

At Faithful to Nature, I wore my wig in the beginning, scared of not being accepted. One afternoon after a long week, I just took the wig off, it was itching and hot and irritated the remaining sores on my scalp. A colleague said, “You look beautiful without your wig” and then another and another. Everyone started giving me advice on products and treatments. In about a week of internal struggle, I showed up at the office, walked into the warehouse with no wig. The staff started clapping.

What a very special moment, one I will treasure for the rest of my life. The joy I found in authenticity. They appreciated WHO I was, not WHAT I was. I have never put the wig back on.

 

I started using products from Faithful to Nature, such as Fire Tonic, turmeric tablets, collagen, shea butter, and CDB oil to name a few. My health started improving significantly. In January this year I did veganuary and my skin and health improved even further.

At the end of February, I was finally diagnosed correctly with Lupus which is an auto immune disease. The reason eating vegan made me healthier is that meat based products are like poison when you suffer from an auto immune disease. CBD oil has been proven to even alleviate symptoms of AIDS and cancer, so not strange that it improved my health significantly. I also have a heart condition and suffer from very bad circulation, something the CBD also fixed – no more swollen feet or bags under my eyes!

I now use conventional medicine in addition to all the wonderful natural products. My skin has cleared completely, and my hair is slowly growing back. I have gained weight from the conventional medicine and it bothers me, but I would rather be healthy than thin.

The strange thing is – I’m almost sad to get my hair back. It allowed me to be vulnerable in a way I am naturally not. It also allows you to see if others are sincere. I could not have dreamt for a job that would have supported my journey to self-discovery of authenticity, truth and health any better than FTN has. What a privilege. I am grateful every day for the struggles I have had, and I can look back and know that even though it has been unimaginably tough, I am all the better for it.

 

Back to our Roots: Herbal Hair Dyes

Humans have been making use of Mother Nature and all her natural secrets for thousands of years, from the air we breathe to the nutrients we gain from the foods she provides. One such natural gem is different plants and their ability to dye our hair and skin. Two such plant dyes, and the most well-known ones, are indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) and henna (Lawsonia inermis), which are still used today as effective hair dyes and conditioners. And as only Mother Nature can provide, it is now becoming more widely known that these plants not only colour and condition hair but also benefit the whole body.

Henna maintains the acid-alkaline balance of the scalp that helps to eliminate dandruff, itchiness and premature hair loss. It binds to the keratin protein in hair and colours hair by coating each strand in a protective film. This seals and repairs the hair cuticle, reducing breakage and giving hair a lovely shine.

Henna is not only good for hair though, it can be used to cool burns and sooth ringworm, eczema and fungal infections. Indigo has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat depression and to detoxify the liver. A simple paste made from its leaves helps heal sores and ulcers.

When henna and indigo are used together, they work synergistically to dye hair in rich shades of red to black.

Of course, our quick fix culture puts a higher demand on, well, everything. The same is true with hair dye. Chemical hair dyes came about as a solution to this quick fix desire and have been around for just over 150 years. Chemical hair dye has fast action and colour reliability; especially when covering grey hair, but these come with a price of possible health problems and allergic reactions.

However, as we move into a time when we realise that our health is the one true thing that we have full control over, and as we create awareness around those things that are harmful to us, more people want to switch to healthier options to colour their hair. These options include 100% herbal hair dyes (which rely on henna and indigo to colour the hair) and low chemical hair dyes that have been formulated with the lowest possible concentrations of chemicals.

It helps to be informed about hair dye chemicals so that the best choices can be made. All chemical hair dyes contain one or more of the Para-dyes. This is unavoidable unfortunately. Chemicals such as para- phenylenediamine and M-aminophenol are Para-dyes and will trigger adverse reactions in anyone sensitive to this group of chemicals. Choose a low chemical hair dye that has the lowest concentrations of Para-dyes possible.

Common hair dye chemicals which you can avoid entirely are ethanolamine, all the resorcinol chemicals, toluene chemicals, naphthol and ammonia. These are known carcinogens and hormone-disruptors and have no place on our hair!

Luckily, we are able to bring you a 100% herbal solution to any hair colouring desires with products like Love My Hair. The certified organic 100% Herbal hair dyes contain no chemicals at all, just henna, indigo and five wonderful Ayurvedic herbs to colour and condition your hair and scalp. The Low Chemical hair dyes contain only seven chemicals in extremely low quantities, as well as five certified organic Ayurvedic herbal extracts.

Using herbal and low chemical hair dyes has many advantages. There is no doubt that using plant extracts to dye and condition our hair not only nourishes our hair and scalp, it also helps to reduce the chemical load on our bodies and the environment. This can only bring good health!

How the Cape Town Drought Saved my Hair: A Quick Guide to Oil Training

5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Hair Healthy

5 Champion Oils for Anti-Ageing Hair Care

 

 

What the Heck is Face Yoga? And Why You Should Add it to Your Daily Practice

Most, if not all, of us understand that regular exercise is a great way to maintain health and vitality. An added advantage to weekly spinning or Pilates classes is looking great in your favourite pair of jeans or rocking your swimsuit on the beach.

Anyone who says they don’t care about how they look would be lying. So when we read that stimulating massages or facial exercises are as effective for obtaining a youthful looking face as a botox injection, the idea becomes extremely appealing.

Face Yoga is a wellness fad that we can’t get enough of. The poses are so simple and don’t require you to unroll your yoga mat, but the benefits contend with finding the fountain of youth itself. Not only are you facilitating increased blood flow and circulation to your face, you are increasing the collagen in your skin which will give you a healthy complexion and beautiful glow.

If you’re interested in getting started, we’ve given you step-by-step instructions for a few poses and exercises. REMEMBER: it is recommended that you wash and moisturise your face after face yoga and not before.

 

THE GIRAFFE: Targets loose skin on the neck

 

  1. Looking straight out in front of you, place your finger tips at the bottom of the neck and lightly stroke the skin downwards as you tilt your head back.
  2. Bring the head back down until your chin meets your chest. Repeat twice more.
  3. Push the lower lip out as far as possible, then pull the corners of the mouth down. Place your fingertips back on your collarbone with the chin pointed towards the ceiling. Hold for four deep breaths.

 

THE PUPPET FACE: Lift sagging lines around the nose (nasolabial folds)

  1. Smile with your teeth showing, then gently press you fingertips into the line between your nose and lips.
  2. Lift the skin up and press your fingertips into your face into the muscles for
    slight resistance.
  3. Hold for 20 seconds

 

 

 

 

FISH FACE: Get rid of fat cheeks

  1. Smile. Then, to create a fish face, suck the inside of your cheeks into the gap between the sides of your teeth.
  2. Repeat five times.

 

 

 

THE V: Fights droopy eyelids, crow’s feet and puffy eyebags.

  1. Press your middle fingers together in between your eyebrows, then with the index fingers, apply pressure to the outer corners of the eyebrows.
  2. Looking up, raise your lower eyelids upwards to make a strong squint, and then relax.
  3. Repeat six times then squeeze your eyes shut tightly for 10 seconds.

 

 

THE FLIRTY EYES: Works on droopy eyebrows and eye hollows

  1. Place an index finger under each eye, pointing towards your nose.
  2. Pull upper lip down over your teeth, keeping mouth open.
  3. Flutter the upper eyelids while gazing at the ceiling
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

 

 

 


SURPRISE ME:
Smooth out the forehead

  1. Widen your eyes as much as you can without engaging your forehead, and hold until your eyes start to water.

 

 

 

 

SMOOTH THE BROW: Works on forehead lines

  1. Spread both hands across your forehead facing them in, then gently sweep the fingers outwards across the forehead, applying light pressure to tighten your skin.
  2. Repeat 10 times.

 

 

 

THE SMILE SMOOTHER: Targets cheek lines and sagging skin

  1. Make an ‘O’ shape with you mouth.
  2. Smile widely while keeping the teeth hidden behind your lips and repeat six times.
  3. Once you’ve done six movements, hold your open, toothless smile and place one index finger on your chin. Move your jaw up and down as you gently tilt your head back.
  4. Relax and repeat twice.

 

BABY BIRD: Fight chin and neck sagging

  1. Press your tongue up to the roof of your mouth and angle your chin towards the ceiling.
  2. Smile and swallow for 30 seconds

THE BUDDHA FACE: Returns your worked face to a state of neutral

  1. Close your eyes, visualize a light coming from the point between your eyebrows, and make a very slight smile.
  2. Chant “om” for up to 2 minutes.

 

If you dedicate 15 minutes every morning, or just before bed, to do these facial exercises you’ll notice a difference after two weeks. After four months, your skin will be considerably tighter with less age lines.

 

10 Yoga Positions to Boost Your Metabolism

5 Toning Every Day Desk-Ercises for a Summer Body

3 Flower-Infused Meditations for Spring

Movember Motivations – 9 Reasons Why Life is Better with a Moustache

Moustache

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have even a small inclination as to what “Movember” is, so it seems like a good idea to consider the allure of the moustache.

Ever since ‘70s pornstars offered free moustache rides, there’s been something of a creep factor with the ol’ snot mop. But moustaches are not just for circus ringleaders, Village People impersonators or skateboarder baristas. In fairness, there’s a certain power and mystique to having a third eyebrow below your nose.

So, let’s shoot from the hip about that fuzz on your upper lip. Life is better with one because;

  1. YOU ALWAYS HAVE AN ANGLE FOR A DRESS-UP PARTY

    Whatever the theme of a party, you already have a defining feature to work around. Going to a Wild West party? Put on a hat and you look like a cowboy. Attending a Great Gatsby event? Put on a waistcoat and a hat and you look like an esteemed gentleman of the roaring ‘20s. What about a sci-fi party? Put on a helmet and say you’re Burt Reynolds in space. Too easy.

  2. IT’S A FLAVOUR SAVER 

    Let’s face it, some people like to eat twice. A decent crumb catcher can extend many a meal with the fine morsels it collects along the way. Not only that but it can also turn average wine into a fine one with its filtration capabilities. Just don’t eat sticky ribs with a big mo. That don’t come out.

  3. YOU’LL BE RESPECTED

    Growing a mo is a risk. Your friends and family will almost certainly ridicule you at first. They’ll say you look like a teenage Mexican boy, or a French sailor, but that’s just their jealousy sparking. If you push through it the compliments that started as a trickle will gather frequency and finally, after you’ve doubled down on your new lifestyle, people will start to admit they like it. Guys will confess a certain jealousy. They too want to be free and not be weighed down by the expectations of conventional society. You’re a rebel and you will be respected for your bravery. There’ll be many who try to dissuade you from this quest. None of them can be trusted. Go forth and wield your whiskers with élan.

  4. ENDLESS OPTIONS


    It may seem like a simple appendage but the moustache knows many forms. The most notable among a long list of styles are the handlebar, pencil, walrus, Fu Manchu, Dali, braided, French-forked and Super Mario.

  5. YOU LOOK DIGNIFIED, ACCOMPLISHED & SLEEZY… ALL AT THE SAME TIME 


    We’re all complex creatures and we deserve something that exhibits that inner complexity. Enter the mighty mo. It makes a man look rough yet royal, sloppy yet suave. It might make you look like a mechanic who catcalls passing women but, it’s been widely agreed by ladies around the world, nothing is quite as charming as a man who can wind his moustache a little using his fingers while looking deeply into the eyes of a lady. 

  6. IT’S BOLD 


    A lip caterpillar turns heads and sparks conversations. It’s a form of creative expression and people will ogle at your face glory. Be ready. You’re not just a man, you’re a man with a moustache, and if you’re ever faced with smoking a pipe, you’ll know what to do.

  7. YOU ACTUALLY MIGHT LOOK BETTER WITH ONE 


    A moustache can work wonders at softening more dominant jawlines and disguising subtle facial asymmetry. If it works wonders for some faces, maybe it’ll do the same for you? Maybe the way to spruce up your look has been right underneath your nose this whole time?

  8. YOU CAN EARN MORE MONEY WITH ONE 


    A 2009 survey conducted by the American Mustache Institute (it’s a real thing, they ‘Protect the rights of, and fight discrimination against, mustache Americans by promoting the growth, care and culture of the mustache’) found that men with moustaches made more money than their non-moustached male co-workers. Based on their self-reported incomes, the study found that a fuzzy lip earned 8.2 percent more annually than those with beards, and 4.3 percent more than hair-free faces.

  9. YOU RAISE AWARENESS


    The meaning behind Movember has migrated into a pretty awesome initiative for men, across a multitude of agendas: including creating testicular cancer and suicide awareness, and ways on improving men’s health in general. So, if the eight reasons above weren’t enough to get you grooming your upper lip games then this one definitely should. Find out more.

Six steps to natural Movember success

 

Heard of Eggscara? We Put the Make-It-Yourself Mascara to the Test

When I was a little girl, I discovered my mother’s Margaret Roberts book on homemade herbal tinctures and beauty potions. That was my turning point – realizing I didn’t need to rely on the stuff everyone bought from pharmacies and convenience shops. I recall one occasion where I decided to brew up a hair rinse promising shine like you’ve never seen. All I needed were some basil leaves and luckily we had those growing in abundance. Sure enough, I was showered with awe-struck complements by fellow 7th graders at school the next day about my glimmering tresses. Inside I was bubbling with pride that it was an all-natural tonic I had whipped up myself. Later that evening, however, I pretty much got my backside handed to me on a platter for practically denuding my stepdad’s habanero chilli plants. I may have had a way to go still in finessing my horticultural know-how, but it turns out I had discovered a hair tonic that Ms Roberts herself didn’t even know about. I remained chuffed as ever.

It turns out eggs have a trick up their au-natural sleeves -the promise of slick, black lashes. I stumbled upon ‘eggscara’ during a recent web poke session for any natural waterproof mascara brands out there. Deep in the folds of a comment thread, one reader mentioned eggscara, at which point I let out an incredulous, “Whaaaaaaah….?” Well, this I just had to try for myself.

Eggscara

I’ve stumbled upon a few DIY recipes for homemade mascara on the internet, but only a certain Kristen Bishop in Washington, seems to have affectionately coined the term eggscara and I’m already rather fond of it.

One recipe on Simple Life Mom mentions using coconut oil and shea butter, which I can imagine adds much moisture to cold winter lashes, but would definitely smudge in summer.

As for eggscara, the combo seems relatively simple. The other winning ingredient won’t surprise you with its recent rise to fame – yep, activated charcoal. If at this point you’re smirking because you think putting, well, egg on your face is just a little far-fetched, consider that the famed beauty, Cleopatra, quite likely wore eye makeup made from blended kohl with crocodile dung, water and honey. Compared to the other questionable ingredient in the ancient Egyptians makeup kit the eggs don’t seem so strange now do they?

Homemade Eggscara Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 egg yolk
1 tsp activated charcoal (you can use the capsules and just crack one open or buy loose powder from a health shop)

METHOD:

1. Separate the egg yolk from the white. Keep the white for making icing at some point in the near future.

2. Scoop out 1 teaspoon of the fine black powder (careful it goes everywhere) Mix in activated charcoal. If you want to create a browner colour tint, you can add a bit of cocoa powder. Now, how’s that for edible beauty?

3. Pour it into a small container and apply with a small mascara brush.

4. For obvious reasons, you’ll have to store this in the fridge but then my gran did always stash her glaring array of coral and pearlescent nail polish there too, so that doesn’t seem peculiar to me in the least. 

Verdict:

After making a batch and using it for a few days, here’s my feedback:

  • The recipe could not have been easier to make.
  • The texture was surprisingly smooth and creamy.
  • It was a little hard to apply because the consistency is runnier than mascara, but just use a bit less on the brush, and do two applications.
  • It dried fairly quickly with no smudging (but as I’ve learnt from friends – that also depends entirely on your eyelid shape.
  • I experienced a slight tingling sensation for the first few moments but once the mascara sets it goes away.
  • No smudging throughout the day – when this stuff sets, it sets, alright.
  • It washes off in the blink of an eggy eye.
  • Considering how little charcoal you need and how much volume one egg yolk makes, it’s seriously inexpensive.
  • I think to be safe I would probably only keep one batch for up to 1 week max and you wouldn’t go through all of it so, there’d possibly be some wastage unless you share with friends.
  • The no packaging is a total win for me.
  • Obviously, this is not ocean swim friendly. You look like a panda.

I think I still prefer my Inthusiasm Natural Mascara (which I’ve been using for years) but if you have sensitive eyes or an intolerance to any other ingredients this might be a really great bet for you to try. Even if you’re just curious about a make it yourself option that sticks like glue, give this a go.

So, yes, Eggscara – it’s a thing!

Why dry brushing is an underrated skin rejuvenation practice & magic mitts to try

Few things are as satisfying to the apothecary-oriented homebody as concocting a scrumptious body scrub from coffee grinds and pantry assortments. While it feels wonderful to slough off dry skin with sugar, salts, oats and other emollient oils, it pays to bear in mind that the skin actually has a delicate barrier. This sensitive acid mantle can be easily disturbed by the excessive use of products or harsh exfoliants. But exfoliation is a good thing. And here’s where the marvel of scrubbing mitts and the ancient art of dry brushing can really bring your skin into its own, natural healing element.

What is dry brushing?

Just about 1/3 of all body toxins are eliminated through your skin – your body’s largest excretion organ. Dry brushing becomes an effective technique for eliminating toxins because of its stimulating effect on the lymphatic system.

You see, the lymphatic system is in charge of collecting, transporting fatty acids and cells through the blood and getting rid of any waste build up in our cells. When the lymphatic system gets blocked up, the toxins can’t be released and they build up, which can lead to inflammation.

Dry brushing supports this by removing the dead skin cells that can cause the blockage and further stimulating the circulation further.

Like many good, holistic habits, dry brushing also finds its roots in Ayurveda. A 5000-year-old Hindy practice to be more precise, known as Garshana. Garshana or skin brushing invites the practitioner to use either a medium bristle brush, silk glove or rough sponge and brush or dry massage the skin in upward and circular strokes towards the heart to stimulate the aforementioned lymph drainage systems.

It’s a gentle, delicate practise, considerate of sensitive skin barriers while effectively exfoliating and detoxing the body.

Magic mitts worth trying

1. Bellabaci Turkish Scrubbing Mitt

This simple but oh so effective hammam exfoliating mitten helps you slough off all the rough, dry skin while stimulating your blood flow to the skin surface. The cloth is made from silk, bamboo and poplar tree cellulose, and goat hair, would you believe it, all woven together to give you incredibly smooth and soft skin.

How To Use Your Turkish Scrubbing Mitten

  • Take a warm shower, lather up and rinse off
  • Slip your hand into your mitten
  • Using circular motions to loosen the dead skin cells, give yourself an all-over rub down. Don’t forget elbows and knees. You can do this bit with the water turned off to save precious drops.
  • Start at your ankles, moving up.
  • Use circular motions on your abdomen too.
  • Then exfoliate your arms moving from your hands to your shoulders
  • Do this for a few minutes only until a nice, red tone emerges.
  • Use a good moisturiser afterwards.

Check out the Bellabaci Turkish Scrubbing Mitt

2. Antjies Jute Exfoliating Mitt

A jute massage mitt knitted by hand – what could be more vintage and quaint? You almost want to bath in milk it’s so wonderful.

Why we love this?

  •  Jute is a strong and durable
  • Jute fibre is recyclable & biodegradable
  • Jute is a renewable resource

Get your hands on an Antjies Jute Exfoliating Mitt

3. Argan Green Kessa Exfoliating Glove Scrub

A Kessa glove is traditionally used after a black soap treatment, to exfoliate the skin and buff away dead cells and remove impurities. It’s famed for its glowing skin results and some even find it reduces cellulite.

How to use a Kessa Glove:

  • Rinse your Kessa glove thoroughly with hot water, before & after use.
  • Use the Kessa glove to exfoliate your body (not your face) after using the Moroccan Black Soap.
  • Rub your skin with the glove in a vertical (not circular) motion to remove the dead cells. Then rinse your skin thoroughly.
  • For best results, apply a nourishing Moroccan argan oil after rinsing & drying your skin.
  • Use the Kessa glove once or twice a week to keep your skin smooth and healthy.

Try the Argan Green Kessa Exfoliating Glove Scrub

4. Bellabaci Deep Cleansing Mitten

Made from synthetic (polyester) microfibres, this mitt cleanses the skin gently without the use of any products. This means nothing else is introduced that can affect the skin’s delicate mantle and ph barrier.

It’s great because:

  • non-absorbent material means it offers anti-antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • great for sensitive skin
  • economical and easy to clean

Check out the Bellabaci Deep Cleansing Mitten

Smittens

Found yourself smitten with a Smitten yet (apologies for the worst pun ever)? The Smitten’s claim to fame is a micro-exfoliation of sorts. Because of the very fine nature of the superfine density fibre of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide (0.06 denser, is about 2 microns in diameter), the fibres can penetrate the finest, microscopic particles of oil, dirt and even bacteria. These skin contaminants are absorbed into the internal structure of the cloth away from your skin and without the need for any product.

Why the Smitten is so popular

  • Especially good for those people who are allergic, have dry, ageing or sensitive skin
  • Great for people who suffer from acne, exfoliates as it cleans without disturbing sensitive ph balance
  • Perfect makeup removal without need for a cleanser but can work with one too.
  • Environmentally safe – using warm water only to cleanse
  • Reusable – a mitt can be used for 2/3 months (approximately 200 washes or more)
  • Totally machine & hand washable
  • Removes almost 90% of skin surface bacteria

Get your hands on (or in) a Smitten

So while the odd homemade scrub is indeed a luxurious nicety – your skin is a super trooper at keeping itself clean, but it’s a sensitive one at that. So if you’ve found your skin to be a little picky with a product, give dry brushing and one of these friendly mitts a try.

Already a fan of dry brushing? Do tell. We’d love to hear how it’s working for you and which tools you prefer for the job.

10 Natural Ways to Heal and Prevent Cellulite

Dimples are cute, but no woman wants them on her thighs. Unfortunately, over the years, we’ve simply come to accept them as a part of growing older and the slowing down of metabolisms. The good news is, if you know what’s really causing cellulite, you’re back in the driving seat on how to heal and prevent it. There are a handful of bigger lifestyle changes you can make to begin reducing your amassed and unwelcome bum, tum and thigh orange peel. But just for some good measure, here’s nature’s helping hand where herbs, oils and supplements are concerned. They’ll help to strengthen your connective tissue, improve your lymph drainage and stimulate circulation. These magical natural ingredients can be eaten, brewed in teas or applied topically.

Choose a handful of these handy herbs to include in your diet and skincare regime. If you’re already getting these in, then you might like to know what they’re really doing for you.

 

1. GINGER

Ginger is a peripheral circulatory stimulant and so increases your circulation.

Get your ginger dose in through:

2. GRAPEFRUIT

Grapefruit stimulates lymphatic drainage by stimulating the natural removal of excess water and unwanted toxins from the body. These are some of its other cellulite busting hidden talents:

  • Supports the connective tissue by reinforcing the crosslinking structure of collagen
  • Helps maintain the elasticity of the blood vessels for a healthy circulation

Go grapefruit crazy on your skin with these favourites:

3. HORSETAIL

Horsetail (or horse chestnut) contains high levels of the mineral silica, which is used in the repair and maintenance of skin cells.

  • The flavonoids and saponins in horsetail have great cell rejuvenating and regenerating properties
  • Horsetail has a stabilizing effect on the connective tissue,  increasing the firmness and elasticity of the skin
  • It improves blood circulation by reducing inflammation and build up on your capillary walls

Treat yourself to a deep soak in Dr Hauschka horse tail enriched bath essence.

4. GOTU KOLA

Gotu Kola is a natural source of caffeine making it ideal for treating cellulite.

  • It strengthens the connective tissues by stimulating the body’s production of the ground substance that keeps collagen fibres locked in place
  • It enhances the structure of the connective tissue surrounding the fat chambers which help stimulate the circulation of blood

Ways to get in Gotu kola:

5. COCONUT OIL 

Coconut Oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are easily absorbed and used by the body for fuel.

  • It has the capability of stimulating the thyroid gland, which increases body temperature and metabolism
  • Coconut oil is known for improving the burning of excess fat

Popular coconut oil remedies:

6. BENTONITE CLAY 

Bentonite Clay is a natural mineral clay known for its ability to absorb impurities and toxins from the skin through the pores.

7. ALOE VERA

Aloe Vera contains allantoin, which soothes and heals skin. It has been shown clinically to increase microcirculation of the skin and to speed healing of skin tissues.

Say hello to these aloe fixes:

8. GINKO BILOBA

Ginkgo Biloba is a natural blood thinner that increases the micro-circulation to skin and fat cells.

 

9. GREEN TEA

Green tea is a mild stimulant that contains caffeine as well as powerful antioxidants that aid in the proper replication and repair of skin cells.

Popular green teas to try:

10. ROSEMARY

Rosemary has amazing anti-oxidant properties and is also very effective at increasing and stimulating circulation due to its rubefacient properties.

We hope this solution packed list of natural cellulite cures inspires you to find a remedy in nature that works for you. We’re pretty sure the only skin she wanted those dimples on are oranges after all.

4 Simple Points to Consider on Switching to Organic Make-Up

Choosing natural over synthetic seems to be becoming a more intuitive logic – generally speaking. We already sway strongly that way in our fresh produce choices and clothing fabrics. But where are you at on the pendulum when it comes to the beauty products you adorn your face with?

As I learn more and more about the impossibly long list of toxins masquerading in our mascaras and other cosmetic products, it becomes prevalent to me that we 1) either need to memorise all these horrendously complex scientific names so as to be sure none of these nasties are hiding in our chosen personal care products, or 2) we distill what matters down to its simplest form and then support the businesses who have those interests at heart so that not every purchase becomes agonising.

You with me? So, let’s simplify all of this down to the primary reasons to go with natural beauty products over synthetic, commercial brands.

1. The ingredients in natural products don’t harm the Earth

By now we’ve all established that the majority of us (hopefully) genuinely care about this planet we get to call home.

But many of the ingredients in synthetic beauty products, like cadmium, lead, petroleum, aluminium and mineral oil are quite frankly substances you might expect to find on a construction site or at your local mechanic – not in your underarm deodorant or foundation. These nasties need to be mined from deep within the earth. Mining contributes to deforestation as well as affecting natural, underground clean water systems, among many other environmental harms.

2. Mined and man-made cosmetic ingredients are incredibly toxic to your body

I’m no scientist. But you shouldn’t need a science degree to know what you can and can’t put in on your body. If a long list of chemicals and synthetic additives on the back of your foundation give you an uneasy feeling – that’s your natural intuition saying “Hang on – I don’t understand this language on an intuitive level – I don’t want to put it in my body”.

Fortunately, science has already illuminated many of the detrimental side effects of the ingredients found in most over the counter beauty products. Have a gander of this list – and then steer clear.

3. Natural products not only cause no harm but work with your body’s natural functions

Natural and organic beauty products contain familiar, kind ingredients. These natural oils and herbs are bio-active which means they are recognised by your skin’s own oils, so they synergise instead of taking over and invading.

Synthetic products cause a complacency in your body because the chemicals begin to take over those tasks forcing you to become reliant on your beauty products to do the job of your skin.

Your lashes, for example, are quite capable of hydrating themselves. But slap some petroleum-enriched goop on them and your own natural lash lubricant literally becomes incapable of fulfilling its function. Beeswax breathes and supports the lashes instead.

4. Synthetic cosmetics result in drinking water toxicity

Life is cyclical. Nothing just stops with you. If you’re not phased by the long-term damage you might be doing to your own body, consider what happens to those chemical-laced cosmetics when you wash them off? It ends up in the water systems. One particular nasty for example, triclosan, forms chloroform when it mixes with chlorine in tap water. That already toxic mix goes on to form dioxins when sunlight is added. And just like that, you have a recipe for reproductive and developmental problems. We already have water scarcity – let’s not make what we do have undrinkable.

To shop natural makeup, click here.

 

If you are of the type who prefers deeper reading on the subject, these articles might help seal the deal for you:

The Real Price of Beauty
6 Reasons to Use Organic Make-Up

Make good choices people.

 

Heard of Eggscara? We Put the Make-It-Yourself Mascara to the Test

The Green Girl’s Guide to Natural Beauty

 

Natural Solutions for Problem Skin

Your skin is a very good indicator of your physical and emotional health, and is literally your interface with the world in more ways than one. You may be someone who thinks one stray pimple is devastating enough, but what if you struggle with chronic acne or pimples? Whether you suffer from adult acne or are a teenager going through the rocky hormonal stages of puberty, we all like to feel confident and beautiful.

There are many medical treatments you may have tried, that essentially treat the symptoms and have their own array of unwanted side effects. What are some natural alternatives to helping your skin recover a healthy, clear lustre and beauty?

Your Diet & Beneficial Bacteria


Gone are the days a doctor could tell you skin breakouts are unrelated to what you eat. If your gut isn’t in good shape, it can result in inflammation in your body. More than that when you are eating foods that trigger inflammation in your gut it can lead to a leaky gut, which allows all sorts of toxins that should stay in your gut to leak through into your bloodstream, which could result in breakouts.

An elimination diet where you test for food sensitivities can help, as well as eating healthy natural probiotic foods or taking a probiotic supplement. Common food trigger include gluten containing grains, dairy, corn, soya and eggs. A healthy gut biome can help treat inflammation of your skin. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed to treat acne, with the result being that the antibiotics can damage gut flora, which in turn can impact your skin health. A really good quality probiotic can help your rebalance your gut ecology as you eliminate foods that may be triggering inflammation.

It’s been found in some new studies that the same goes for healthy bacteria on your skin. Yes, bacteria of the right sort on your skin is actually good for your skin’s immune system and can help repair your skin on a micro level! There are new skincare products coming out that have probiotics in them, but if these are out of your price range you could try mixing a tablespoon of organic yogurt with a capsule of probiotics and applying it as a mask – leave on for 10 minutes and wash off.

Natural Hormone Balance


This one is no surprise. Balancing your hormones plays a crucial role in your skin health. The medical route is often to prescribe the pill, which may come with a host of other side effects for you, such as gaining weight, disrupting gut flora and even for some, hyperpigmentation of the skin.

Plant based oestrogens have been found to be a really effective alternative and what many have found really works like a bomb is natural progesterone cream which is sourced from Wild Yam. Other hormone balancing herbs you could try include red raspberry leaf tea and Chasteberry (many herbalists recommend you stop taking chasteberry while you are menstruating).

Natural support for balancing hormones include essential fatty acids too, found in foods such as cod liver oil, flax seed oil and evening primrose. Fats are important as your skin needs fats to use fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D and E, as well as build healthy cell walls. Fats also play a key role in synthesising certain hormones.

Natural Skin Treatments


While what you put in your body is really important you can also treat your skin directly with some great natural remedies that can help create a healthy balanced pH, disinfect infections and soothe and heal inflammation and redness. From gently cleansing, to using masks to draw out toxins, to healing dark spots and scars, Mother Nature has some amazing remedies.

Honey: give yourself a honey mask beauty treatment a few times a week, being sure to use raw honey as it is brimming with natural antibacterials and anti-inflammatories as well as plenty of skin food. Honey can even be used as a gentle skin cleanser instead of soap too.

Black Soap is soap that contains activated charcoal. Many people find this really helps clear up their skin as it deep cleanses and draws out toxins

Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water makes an excellent toner that help create a healthy pH balance and reduce inflammation and marks (mix 1/3 ACV with 2/3 water).

Aloe Vera Gel contains special sugars that are especially healing and soothing for irritated skin and accelerates wound healing. Truly a deluxe treatment for problem skin that can also help reduce the risk of scarring.

Clay Masks are a wonderfully effective way to draw out toxins and tone your skin while feeding your skin with rejuvenating minerals. Taking clay internally can also give you a good detoxing spring clean for beautiful skin

Turmeric can be used as a mask too, with potent anti-inflammatory effects – just be sure to wear an old t-shirt and not get yellow stains on everything!

Tea Tree Oil is another fantastic natural antibiotic that helps zap those eruptions in their tracks. Depending on how sensitive your skin is you may want to dilute a few drops in water and use it as a wash, or you can test and see if you can tolerate it neat onto eruptions (don’t spread neat over the whole face). It’s been found to be a good alternative to commonly prescribed benzoyl peroxide, with less side effects such as itching and drying, though you must keep at it for at least 3 months.

Ozonated Oils are a combination of ozone gas and oils that destroy micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses extremely effectively

Scars & Marks


Rosehip Oil is an amazing support for eradicating those dark spots and scars, softening and smoothing. It contains both vitamin A and C, the skin beauty vitamins.

Myrrh is an amazing skin rejuvenator, stimulating new cell growth

Bellabaci makes a super skin repair serum called Skin Get a Life that can help diminish marks and scars

(Faithful to Nature has so many excellent serums and oils for scars and marks it’s worth your while to browse our range here.)

Supplements


A good vitamin C supplement can really support your skin’s healing, and many people report that taking a collagen supplement did wonders for their skin, not only firming it up, but helping to create healthy, new skin and minimise scars and marks.


And remember, try your best to keep your hands off! Leave your body to heal itself, it knows best.